The Irvine Sketch

Casebook of the Bedroom Killer

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Could this be the linked killer?

Here's a rougher sketch from the LA Times, appearing in the following article:

Slayings of 7 Women to Be Focus of Probe
By Gary Jarlson, Los Angeles Times, 9 October 1979, pg. OC A1.


 

BACKGROUND OF THE IRVINE SKETCH

In 1979 there were a rash of crimes in Orange County, California, of the type where a woman at home alone (or with small children) was attacked and raped. Often the crime scene was an apartment or ocndominium but several itmes it was a separate home. Most of the time the vicim was also murdered. The killer usually bludgeoned the victim, often commencing the attack with blows to the head. Most of these cases were attributed to a killer nicknamed the "Bedroom Basher"  who ultimatley proved to be a convict named Gerald Parker. Parker was only identified in 1996 by DNA match, but had spent most of the intervening years between February 1980 and 1996 in priosn for various non-related crimes. In 1979 Parker was a Marine staff sergeant based at the El Toro Marine Air Station just south of Irvine. Parker was a tall black male who in 1979 wolud have had short cropped hair and minimal facial hair.

In October 1979, police, particularly the Costa Mesa Police Department, widely circulated the above sketch and description as that of the Bedroom Basher. It showed a guy with skraggily hair and a shaggy mustache It can be seen readily that the description and sketch do not match that of Parker.

SOURCE OF THE IRVINE SKETCH

The origins of the sketch are either from a witness in a Sep 23 1979 attack in Irvine, from a witness in a Costa Mesa attack in Sep 79 or from a psychic. All three origins are given in newspaper stories, although I doubt thousands of leaflets would have been distributed based on psychics alone.

By early October 1979, the sketch appeared in the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot and Los Angeles Times newspapers and had been widely distributed to apartment dwellers


COULD THE LINKED KILLER BE THE PERSON IN THE SKETCH?


The last CCC Rape was in June 1979. The first Goleta crime took place at the beginning of October 1979. The first linked crime took place in Ventura in March 1980. Suppose the LK relocated to the Irvine area after June 1979. At least based on crimes, his movements are unaccounted for, even if you include Goleta, until the end of September. He possibly could be available for the September 23 assault. The abortive nature of the assault (although we don't have many details at this point of what happened) makes me tend to think it wasn't him, but who knows? So this sketch may be the only view of the linked killer.

As a minimum, the Irvine sketch, if based on actual witnesses, shows a man committing a crime similar to the Bedroom Basher, who was not caught, either in Irvine or Costa Mesa.
Therefore, there was yet another home-invading rapist/ murderer in the Irvine area. We know the linked killer was in Irvine in 1981 and 1986. We also know he killed people who came to Irvine on a daily basis in 1980. The Contra Costa County rapes, of which three have been linked to the killer in Irvine in 1980-1,86, ended in June 1979. The first linked murder in SoCal took place in Ventura in March 1980. The first Goleta attack (if it was the same person) took place at the start of October 1979. Accordingly, at least theoretically, the linked guy could have been available to 'pose' for that sketch. It probably isn't, because the linked guy seems to have been too careful to be seen like that. But who knows? It would have been his first crime in a new place and he may have been trying to appear to be the Basher.

If it wasn't the linked guy, then it means the Irvine area had three similar rapists operating in it in 1979-80- LK, BB, and the sketch guy. If nothing else, this may make people who link all the EAR/"O"NS crimes together under one guy because it could be "no coincidence" rethink such conclusions. In the context of 1979-80, there were other people committing such crimes.